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Well-known sex tourist snagged on arrival at airport
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Judicial agents pick up a well-known sex tourist Friday, and the case raises a multitude of free speech issues.

The arrest also might be the beginning of a crackdown on Web sites and businesses here that cater to North Americans in search of prostitutes.

At the very least the case has injected a bit of paranoia among some expats who wonder who turned in Cuba Dave, whose real name is David Strecker.

Agents detained the 65-year-old man as he got off a plane at Juan Santamaría airport Friday. The agency, the Judicial Investigating Organization, was unable to say Sunday what has followed, although there is a good chance that Strecker spent the weekend in prison.

He faces an allegation that he promotes Costa Rica through social networks as a place for sexual tourism. Agents said they were working on confidential information, which resulted in the finger pointing in the Gringo community. There also is a suggestion that the tip came from U.S. law enforcement.

Specifically the judicial agency said that Strecker uploaded photos and videos to social network sites that promoted the country as a sex tourism destination.

The free speech dimension comes from the possible prosecution of someone for posting truthful information on the Web.   Strecker used to write on a site that used his nickname Cuba Dave. It is, but it is operated by a fellow Key West man identified by the Internet authorities as Henry Allen. And the site is not even published from Costa Rica. Its Internet service provider is in San Francisco, California.

Lately Strecker's recent first-person sex tourism reports have concerned Sosua, a community in the Dominican Republic, according to the WayBack Machine, an Internet service that archives Web site pages that no longer are current. The site shows a note that says it is down for maintenance.

Strecker also posts to his own Facebook page.

Judicial agents said they began the investigation at the beginning of the year. Strecker is proud of his activities that date to boat trips to Cuba in the 1990s. He was the object of an extensive article in New Times Miami, which might have attracted the attention of the authorities there.

The Dec. 13, 2013, news article noted that Strecker claimed to have had sexual experiences with 2,500 prostitutes under 25 years of age.

Judicial agents also are proud in that they pointed out the arrest of the man was the first under the law prohibiting promotion of Costa Rica as a sex tourism destination.

The anti-sex tourism law comes from the president Laura Chinchilla administration.

Article 8 of the law's Chapter Three says that anyone who promotes or carries out programs, campaigns, publicity announcements, making use of any medium to project the country at the national and international level as a tourist destination
accessible for commercial sexual exploitation or prostitution of persons of whatever age or sex shall be penalized with from four to eight years of prison.

The following article expands the range of suspects to those who own, rent, possess or
Cuba Dave Web site
The heading of

Cuba Dave
Judicial Investigating Organization photo    
David Strecker a/k/a/ Cuba Dave in custody.

 administer an establishment or place designed for or benefiting from the trafficking of persons or related activities.

The section was part of a lengthy trafficking-in-persons law. Officials then said they were concerned about articles and advertising that appeared in newspapers and online in the United States. 

Strecker has published several books that describe his sexual tourism exploits.

At the time the law was proposed, A.M. Costa Rica questioned its constitutionality.

Another part of the same law raised the airport exit tax $1, ostensibly to provide care for persons who have been trafficked.

One of Strecker's online defenders posted a comment over the weekend noting that what the man is accused of promoting is legal in Costa Rica. Paid sex between consenting adults is not punished in Costa Rica, and there are hundreds of female and transgender prostitutes in the metro area. The poster also noted that North American sex tourism might make up just 10 percent of the activity with prostitutes here. The remainder involves Costa Ricans, the posting said.

The politics of sex tourism and trafficking in persons is complex, and there is a lot of grant money involved. The U.S. State Department repeatedly ignores in its annual trafficking in persons report that adult prostitution is not a criminal act in Costa Rica. The department considers every woman in prostitution to be a trafficking victim, and its employees appear to be totally ignorant of male prostitution in Costa Rica.

The U.S. report has considerable impact here. Costa Rican officials make selective raids and arrests to look good in the State Department's next annual report. This year the department claimed without evidence that the north and central Pacific coasts of Costa Rica were places where women and children were being trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.

So this morning the Cámara de Comercio y Turismo de Tamarindo and the Fundación Rahab plan a conference on the topic at the Hotel Tamarindo Diriá.  Fundación Rahab is one of those organizations that profit from U.S. grants to aid former prostitutes. This also is the organization that sends volunteers along on police raids to administer questionnaires to prostitutes.

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 176
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Marco Cavallini & Associates
Dental Implants and Crowns

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DR. Cavallini
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Ministerio de Seguridad Pública photo           
    Fuerza Pública officers rescued these two young owls from a tree in
    Parrita after neighbors expressed concern that the parents had not
    been seen. The screech owl chicks were turned over to environmental
    officials for tending and eventual release.

This year's book fair begins Sept. 18

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The 19th edition of the Feria Internacional del Libro begins Sept. 18 for a 10-day run.

The book fair is a major cultural event each year in Costa Rica. This year, Central America will be the invited guests. Authors from El Salvador, Panamá, Nicaragua and Honduras will be featured.

Once again the location will be the Antigua Aduana on Calle 23, which will be filled to capacity with booths of editorial houses and retail outlets.

Although the bulk of the books are in Spanish, there are plenty of English books and activities to interest even the mono-lingual expat.

The book fair is the way Costa Rica promotes its writers to the rest of the world. In addition to the Cámara Costarricense del Libro, the sponsor is the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud.

Costa Rica bug surprises U.S. inspectors

Special to A.M. Costa Rica
with staff additions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at Miami’s seaport intercepted an unusual pest identified as Hesus flaviventris
Burmeister during an inspection of a container of pineapples from Costa Rica. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that this marks the first interception of this pest in the United States.

The bug is a member of the family Aradidae, also known as flat bugs because of their extremely
new bug
Surprise find.
flattened bodies.  Flat bugs are distant relatives of the more familiar stink bugs.

Although the bug was new to inspectors in Miami, the species is common in Central America. It has been collected in Panamá and Guatemala, according to online sources.

The damage caused by Hesus flaviventris Burmeister is not clearly defined in the scientific literature, but stink bugs cause damage to a host of commercial crops, including corn. The stink bug feeds on the leaves  and sometimes the fruit and causes spots that detract from the commercial value.

Popular comedian leads in Guatemala

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A comedian could be Guatemala's next president.

Jimmy Morales, a comedic actor and political novice, is leading the pack, according to early results. The top three are headed for a presidential runoff after Sunday's election in Guatemala.

With about half of the votes counted, Morales has 26 percent of the ballots.  His campaign slogan "not corrupt, not a thief" resonated with voters after a corruption scandal rocked Guatemala late last week, ending in the resignation of President Otto Pérez Molina.

"I planted love in my homeland, and now I'm harvesting that love," Morales said Sunday after casting his vote.

Conservative businessman Manuel Baldizon trailed Morales with 18 percent of the ballots, while former first lady Sandra Torres had 17 percent of the votes.

Sunday's presidential, congressional and municipal elections were for a four-year term to begin in 2016. Until then, former Vice President Alejandro Maldonado will lead Guatemala.

Hundreds of protesters called for the election to be delayed as they gathered at the Supreme Court building in Guatemala City where Pérez Molina appeared in court Thursday and Friday.

Pérez Molina said in court he is innocent of accusations that he accepted $800,000 in an alleged bribery ring nicknamed The Line. The nickname references the special telephone line said to have been reserved for businessmen who allegedly paid bribes to officials to avoid import taxes.

The former president said in court Friday that he accepted no bribes and bragged that he had been offered and refused 10 times that amount from fugitive drug trafficker Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán when the Mexican drug kingpin was captured in 1993.

The ousted president's mention of Guzmán also served as a reminder that Pérez Molina had been behind the long-sought fugitive's arrest. Guzmán has since escaped from prison in Mexico by bribing prison officials.

Pérez Molina has not yet been formally charged. He next appears in court on Tuesday.

Thousands of Guatemalans filled the streets last week when news of the president's resignation spread. They had been protesting for months, demanding that he step down. Perez Molina was elected in 2011 on an anti-corruption pledge.

Guatemala continues to be one of Latin America's most impoverished countries.

News for the Spanish-language press
Translated into English

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A.M. Costa Rica

Third News Page

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 176
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Elderly man found in barrel after search

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An 85-year-old Cuban-American was the object of a four-day search on his property in Coloradito de Corredores after a friend reported him missing Wednesday.

Saturday afternoon agents undertook an extensive search of his home and property. They found his body in a barrel in an area behind his home, they reported. The man was identified by the last name of  Machado, and the Judicial Investigating Organization said he had lived in the area in southern Costa Rica for several years. Agents initially were unable to determine how the man died. The body has been remanded to the judicial morgue. However, they do have a suspect.

Friends told agents that the man rented part of his property to flower producers but that he had continual disputes with them. One of those who worked the land has since left for his home country of Nicaragua, and agents would like to talk with him, they said.

In another case, judicial agents said that the body of a 34-year-old man with the last name of  Oviedo was found in a street in Rincón Herrera, Guácima de Alajuela Sunday.  Agents said that neighbors heard cries for help about 2 a.m. Sunday, and when they investigated they found the man's body near his vehicle on his own property. The man had defensive wounds on his arms, a stab wound to the chest and a head injury believed administered by a large rock found near the body, said agents.

Judicial Investigating Organization photo
Agents said the body was here.

Thieves seek out turtle eggs even in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Turtle egg thieves don't respect the boundaries of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. Officers of the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas said they encountered one man at Playa Rey in the park early Sunday and said that he carried a bag with 82 green turtle eggs.  He was traveling on a bicycle.

In addition, the officers said they found a bag that contained 87 more eggs that someone seems to have dropped to avoid detection by officers who were patrolling the area. The two bags of eggs were to be taken to a location in Quepos where they will be given a chance to hatch.

At this time of year, several species of turtles are depositing their eggs on beaches in the country.  Eating turtle eggs has been considered a bounty of the sea for centuries in Costa Rica, but officials try to emphasize that turtles are worth more for tourism than as food.

egg theft
Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas photo
Turtle egg thief is in handcuffs

You need to see Costa Rican tourism information HERE!

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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 176
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Proliferation of online cybercrooks blur line between spying and stealing
By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

To say that 2015 has so far been seeing new heights of corporate and government computer attacks, as well as an escalation in the sheer daring of those hacks, is to risk understatement.

The list grows daily: 80 million health insurance records stolen from Anthem Insurance; 27 million private personnel records swiped from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; the breach of unclassified systems and the White House, State Department, and Joint Chiefs of Staff, and on and on.

Computer network security professionals have been left scrambling just to fix the hacks that have already happened, let alone prevent new attacks. The situation is so dire that some analysts said they worry the good guys might never catch up.

These attacks, of course, occur for a wide range of reasons: hunting for credit cards, governments spying on adversaries, or hacktivists trying to make a statement.

Yet as distinct as the reasons and actors may be, some security analysts increasingly worry about a new trend of groups and attacks that are trying to blur the traditional lines between crime and espionage. And that, they say, is only going to make preventing future attacks all the more difficult.

When cybersecurity analysts talk about the Internet, they tend to use phrases like threat field or threat space, meaning the entire range of threats that any given group, corporation or government might face online.

Different targets have widely varying threat fields. For example, an aerospace firm working on classified military projects will have a very different threat space from that of a large consumer retailer like giant retailer Target, which in turn would have a different threat space than a small political activist group.

“Groups conducting cyberattacks may use similar tactics, like spear-phishing, but they’re very different, both in nature and in motivations,” says Patrick McBride, vice president of communications at iSight Partners, one of the largest U.S. cyber-threat intelligence firms. “The starting point is the difference between information and intelligence.”

McBride says it isn’t enough for government or corporate security officials to build strong cyber defenses around their systems to fend off future hacks. They have to understand the threats unique to their enterprise, and that means understanding the opponents they face and their motivations.

“The bad guys are the competition,” he said. “You need to head into this as you would against any adversary, with knowledge about what they do and have a strategic plan to fight back.”

In both the cyber and military spheres, analysts often draw a distinction between information and intelligence.

“Information is raw and unfiltered,” McBride said. “It’s unevaluated when it’s delivered, it’s pulled from every source, there could be truth in there or falsehoods, it may not necessarily be relevant. Intelligence is processed and sorted information. Someone actually has to sort through the noise to establish the truth.”

For cybersecurity analysts, this is key. Learning of a new hack on their computer network and when it happened is information, but discerning who was responsible and what their goals are is intelligence that can help prevent a future attack.

This becomes even more important when analysts consider the types of hackers that usually target specific government agencies or corporations with large amounts of secret data.

“These are persistent threats that don’t give up, and are always refining new techniques of how to breach your 
system,” said McBride. “A lot of the nation states that we monitor, or at least the actors that appear connected to those
 nation states, they’re utilizing new techniques and tools in far-flung regions or more obscure places and refining them before they show up at your doorstep.”

There’s another important intelligence distinction: the difference between crime and spying.

“Cyber criminals and hacktivists are looking for financial gain pretty much, or to make a statement,” says Sarah Hawley, a member of iSight’s cyber espionage team. “Those conducting cyber espionage are looking for bodies of information that gives them a strategic advantage over their adversary. They are covert, and they want to persist.”

Ms. Hawely said iSight is tracking approximately 30 threat groups with a Chinese nexus or base. She’s quick to add that China is not alone in the online espionage game.

While data thieves might just want to get in and out of a system quickly and then move on, cyber-espionage groups often employ long-term tactics that mix tried-and-true tricks, such as spear-phishing, which is the use of spoofing emails, combined with newer techniques.

Ms. Hawley cites one Chinese-nexus group that targeted defense industry conferences, then cross-referenced attendees with publicly available contact information to build a sophisticated spear-phishing campaign to use spoofing emails seeking personal data.

“That led us to believe that they used these lists as a means to acquire targets, likely for their access to sensitive databases related to defense and aerospace technologies,” Ms. Hawley said. “We’ve seen multiple Chinese-nexus attacks like this targeting a variety of industries; we’ve also seen this from Russia.”

Yet as troublesome as hacks like this can be, Ms. Hawley also points to another trend, one designed to confuse the target’s intelligence and scramble the lines between espionage and crime.

A good example of this blurring came earlier this summer when iSight investigators started looking deeper into a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate, a hacktivist group purportedly supporting the broad goals of the Islamic State extremist group.

In February, Cyber Caliphate hackers created headlines when they temporarily seized control of the Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. Central Command, posting incendiary threats and comments. Other targets, such as Newsweek magazine’s Twitter feed, were also briefly compromised.

But Ms. Hawley says researchers at iSight Partners later unearthed evidence that the Cyber Caliphate wasn’t all it seemed.

“We determined that they were a false front for Russian actors we called Tsar Team,” she said. “We began to see technical indicators that the two were sharing resources, and we determined that the two groups are either one in the same, or at the very least are connected by some over-arching organization.”

Tsar Team is a Russian-based cyber-espionage group that earlier had targeted NATO, the Ukrainian government and the European Union using a zero-day vulnerability known as Sandworm.

“Ultimately we determined that Tsar Team and the Cyber Caliphate were using the same infrastructure,” said Ms. Hawley. “That type of cover could give them the freedom to spread propaganda, test new hacking tools and techniques, and espionage campaigns down the road. But it also confuses efforts to determine actors and motivations.”

And creating confusion in intelligence of just who is behind cyberattacks and what their motivations are only makes the difficult job of protecting sensitive computer networks from hackers harder still.

Vacation, travel and hospitality

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The Relocation/Retirement tour with the

 (as reported by the moving companies)
Visit many rental options to actually experience the price/amenity options available in more of the areas chosen by Expats for security, comfort, and quality of life.

Meet many Expats who are willing to share their experiences and how the tour has value long after the “lust” wears off.
See how to choose a Retirement tour video by past guest!

Ask the others what you get for your money, and then compare the quality of accommodations, quality, quantity and variety of food and drink to measure the best value for your money. 

Learn how others “talk the talk” and learn who really can “walk the walk”

Please visit my Web site  to contact my references.
George Lundquist, retirement, relocation columnist, Guide & Developer/Builder.


Osas montage
Adventures in Costa Rica are awaiting you.
Each of the five individual Villas  boasts its own unique charm with pleasant, moderately priced accommodations and all gives you the opportunity of taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle from your own private balcony which has views of the river bed and the ocean. If you’re up for an adventure  we can help you arrange it and choose from the many tour options available in our region. Ojochal has some of the most secluded and pristine beaches in all of Costa Rica, as well as some outstanding surfing opportunities. Enjoy our local attractions such as white water rafting, whale and dolphins tour, Corcovado national park tours, Osa canopy tour, San Buenas golf course, horseback ride to the beach and waterfalls,
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                        Playa Bejuco
Hotel Boutique Playa Bejuco
Cozy, opened in 2007 just 90 minutes from the capital, with good access. Go shopping or enjoy the evening entertainment. Hosting services, friendly, quality and comfortable, discreet under the concept of 100 percent family hotel, the reason we do not allow or endorse any activity related to prostitution or drugs. Natural beauty, recommended for tourists for a relaxing holiday. Nearby is Manuel Antonio National Park. Tours, canopy, fishing, rainforest, horseback riding, ATV, rafting, etc. 20 deluxe rooms equipped with 3 for disabled. All with air conditioning, cable TV, telephone, refrigerator, private bathroom, hot water, free wireless Internet, etc. Maximum 5 people. Main restaurant, pools (adults & children), jacuzzi, private parking, 24 hours security, pool bar, playground equipped. At front desk currency conversions, confirm your flight or coordinate tours. Address : Playa Bejuco, Esterillos, Costa Rica. Local phone (506) : 2779-2000. Email:   Web page

experience Costa Rica
Costa Rica Travel In Paradise Group Tours

Looking for easy booking process for a smooth Costa Rica trip?   We customize wonderful trips to Costa Rica.  We offer you our wealth of knowledge for a great experience . . . a trip of a lifetime!!!

* FAMILY VACATIONS. Our travels take into account the different ages of your family enjoy the most from your Family vacations. Click HERE!

* GROUP TOURS. Whether for a church group, couple of friends, Scout troop or a family group. We provide excellent quality service in your Group Tours. Click HERE!

* EDUCATIONAL TOURS. Tours for universities to schools to elementary schools. We have professionals to help you discover the secrets of Costa Rica in a fun way. Costa Rica Educational Tours. Click HERE!

* GUIDED TOURS. General holiday planning giving you the best value for your investment Costa Rica vacation Packages. Click HERE!

Contact Us:
International Phone: 1-800-9010-114
CR Local Phone: 011-506 -2274-3231

  Get Help Planning Your Adventure Vacation in Costa Rica.
  100% Personalized Vacation Planning Service.
Click HERE!

Howard book
Want to live in Costa Rica?
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Will Costa Rica Retirement Work For You?
Find out for yourself on Live In Costa Rica Tours

When you visit Costa Rica, you'll want to discover what you need to know to  make the right choice about moving to this tropical paradise.  Our familiarization tours have won hard-earned credentials that prove general excellence and the right focus.  These are the only retirement tours that are licensed and approved by the Costa Rican government and tourism institute  (ICT). In 2006 we were featured on the NBC Today Show and World News.  In 2010, we won the  prestigious Latin America-Asia Travel Excellence Award for the Best and Most Unique Tour in Latin America.

   * Discover how to make the right choices about moving here
   * Find out how to live affordably
   * See how other expats live. Meet other expats who have made
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   * Access the country's affordable health care system
   * Informative two-day seminar given by local experts in their
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   * Tours led by Christopher Howard, 34-year resident, citizen,
          and the author of "The New Golden Door to Retirement
          and  Living in Costa Rica – the Official Guide to Relocation”
Click HERE  to learn all about our Association of Residents (ARCR)  approved tours at

Largest art gallery in Guanacaste
Drop in to see some of Costa Rica's finest art
at the largest gallery in Guanacaste.

The Hidden Garden Art Gallery near the Liberia airport is a great place to find quality remembrances of Costa Rica to take home or to decorate your home or office in Costa Rica.  We also offer commissioned pieces so you can create your own unique masterpiece to cherish forever.  With more than 60 artists on exhibit and fine art in 15 rooms full of paintings, prints, sculptures, and diverse artistic expressions, we are easy to locate just 5 kms west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport. Visit our Web site at
or contact us by email:   
Gallery hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tel. 2667-0592 / 8386-6872; U.S. telephone 702-953-7073. International shipping available.

Here's reasonable medical care
Costa Rica's world class medical specialists are at your command. Get the top care for much less than U.S. prices. It is really a great way to spend a vacation. See our list of recommended professionals HERE!amcr-prom

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A.M. Costa Rica
Real estate rentals
Real estate rental agents
Real estate for rent
Real estate wanted

Real estate rental services (paid category)

Tropical Homes of Costa Rica is offering the best selection of vacation homes, condos and long-term rental homes in Playa Flamingo, Playa Potrero and Playa Brasilito on  the Pacific Gold Coast of Guanacaste. A wide selection of private residencies is providing an excellent choice for  your stay in this beautiful part
tropical homes
of Costa Rica.We are offering homes for every budget and every need. Please visit our Web page at or contact us at or call at (506) 2654-5442

The vacation homes at Manuel Antonio Estates offers luxury, comfort and peace of mind. We have numerous homes from 2 bedrooms to 8 bedrooms ocean view with private pool,  all within walking distance of the town’s shops and restaurants and just a few minutes to the best beaches and the famous Manuel Antonio national park. While the homes are secluded and hidden among the rainforest, the surrounding area offers adventures like zip lines, whitewater rafting, mangrove kayaking and many more. All of the homes are available for short-term rentals, Fully equipped, Pool, concierge,  parking, cable TV, and Internet. We are happy to assist with all your need for the perfect Costa Rican vacation, Call us for your family vacation package.
TOLL FREE: 1800 346=9724 or (506) 2777-3339

Real estate for rent

Escazu condo

Beautiful fully furnished apartment for rent
Perfect place for a retired family. Furnished condo for rent.  Two bedrooms, 2 complete bathrooms, living room & dinning room, laundry room. Great location: Escazú center, 5 minutes to San José, 10 minutes to Multiplaza, Hospital CIMA, PriceSmart. Very secure: gated, guard at gate 24/7  Pool & fitness center.  Monthly rate $1,100  Call Darling. Cell phone  8356-5486   or send me an email  or

Spectacular rentals are available for low weekly prices on at resorts such as Bahia Turquesa Residences and Villas Sol Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste. We have 
1- to 3-bedroom ocean and garden view timeshares available and most offer air conditioning, cable TV, fully equipped kitchens, and relaxing hammocks on private balconies. Enjoy the unique combination of seclusion and convenience as all resorts listed on our site are close to popular Costa Rican attractions and downtown 
centers, but are surrounded in lush, tropical forest. Villas are also available for sale in our inventory, so you can enjoy yearly vacations to this mesmerizing rainforest paradise. Please visit our rental inventory HERE!  or call us toll free at 877-815-4227, International: 603-516-0200.  Email:

Rental montage
 Unfurnished apartment with modern kitchen right on the beach
in Playa Junquillal. $500 month + electric. see to view a video or call 5004-3473. HERE's the video.

Playa del Coco
Hear the waves and walk to the beach
Villa with separate studio apartment in north Playas del Coco. Two bedrooms and two baths in the villa. Fully furnished.  Laundry facilities. Yard fenced in. Pets Ok. Large covered terrace with views. A/C, satellite TV. Surrounded by gardens, palms and other tropical trees frequented by monkeys. Rent villa for $1,300/month or both for $1,500. Contact owner Linda: 2670-0779 or 8347-4705.

montage of thre homes
Beautiful Cottages for rent
Cottages located in the mountains of Los Angeles, San Rafael, Heredia. Surrounded by trees and nature, beautiful gardens. 45 minutes from San José. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed.
    - 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 balcony, 1 ranch. $900 monthly
          + utilities.
    - 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom. $450 monthly + utilities.
    - 1 bedroom, 1 and 1/2 bathroom, 1 balcony. $500 monthly
         + utilities.
Phone: (506) 8739-0638, (506) 7019-9457, (506) 8993-5801

Beautiful cottage in San Rafael, Heredia

 Surrounded by nature.
One or two bedrooms, 1 or 1.5 bathrooms. Bus line service, security. Pets allowed. $450 and $500 monthly. Phone: (506) 7019-9457,  8739-0638, 8993-5801. Or

Heredia cottage

house for rent
$800 plus electric
Two-bedrooms, two-bath house, fully furnished, INCLUDES internet, WiFi, cable TV, water bill. Inside private property, safe and secure. In the country but close to town. Santa Bárbara de Heredia. Email for more info and pictures. Long term. NO DOGS.

Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 baths, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Direct TV via sling box on Internet.  Rent per month $750 plus utilities with free internet.  Price for Sale $179,000   Contact Mike:  Check out slide show HERE!

Real Estate
About us
What we published this week: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Earlier
The contents of this Web site are copyrighted by Consultantes Río Colorado S.A. 2015 and may not be reproduced anywhere without permission. 
Abstracts and fair use are permitted.  Check HERE for details

A.M. Costa Rica's
Fifth news page
Manuel Antonio
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 176
Real Estate
About us

International report critical
of Mexican student probe

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

International experts reviewing the Mexican government's probe of the 2014 abduction and disappearance of 43 students have rejected the government's official narrative, accusing investigators of mishandling evidence and relying solely on statements from suspects.

A more than 400-page analysis was released Sunday by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the autonomous rights arm of the Organization of American States.  It does not speculate on the ultimate fate of the missing students, who disappeared one year ago in southern Mexico's Guerrero state.

But it says there is no evidence supporting the government's central claim that the students were captured by local police and turned over to drug cartel assassins after commandeering buses for transportation to a protest.

Under that theory, first presented late last year by Mexico's former attorney general, the bodies of the students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College were dumped at a trash site and incinerated outside a nearby town.

Sunday's report said the dump fire was not strong enough to burn the victims to ashes, and it said investigators from Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and Spain based that finding on independent expert analysis.

The government had not commented on the report by late Sunday.

The document says the students may have unwittingly hijacked a bus full of drugs or drug money that corrupt police were seeking to recover.  It also says police and federal military units were tracking the movement of the students before they disappeared, while stressing that much of what occurred on Sept. 26, 2014 remains unknown.

The report details missing evidence that includes a bus seen on security camera footage on the night of the disappearances.  It also notes U.S. evidence that a drug gang in Guerrero state transports heroin to the United States in secret bus compartments.

The government's failure to account for all but one of the students or to impress the Mexican public with the thoroughness of the probe has rattled the presidency of Enrique Peña Nieto and sparked widespread international criticism.

Human rights activists and parents of the students continue to voice outrage that the investigation has been based on the testimony of more than 100 people arrested on suspicion of involvement in the disappearances.  The detainees include the former mayor of the town of Iguala.

Government critics also allege that many of the detainees gave statements to police only after undergoing torture.

Hundreds of refugees reach
Austria headed for Germany

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Europe is preparing for a new wave of refugees as word filters back to others that the passage through Hungary is now easier.

Hundreds arrived Sunday at Vienna’s Westbahnhof station aboard trains from the Hungarian border, after officials in Hungary decided to allow thousands of refugees who had been stranded in Budapest to travel by train to the border.

Trains carrying refugees from the Hungarian border town of Hegyeshalom were met by cheers and applause from Austrian onlookers waiting on the station platform.

It was a far cry from their experience in Hungary, where police last week tear gassed the migrants and prevented them from reaching Austria.

Thousands had camped at Budapest’s Keleti station as trash built up and portable toilets overflowed.  By Sunday morning, most of the refugees had left the terminal. 

In Vienna, Austrian relief workers and other volunteers offered tea, cigarettes, candy, food, clothing and blankets to the migrants.

Abdulmalik al Khaled, a medical student fleeing Syria, said he could not believe the warm welcome he received when he got off the train.

“It is very, very, very good,“ he said, as he prepared to leave for Germany, where he hopes to get help from the German government to continue work on his medical degree. “If I don’t want to complete my studies, I want to stay here.

But Germany may be better than here to complete  studies, so I will travel to there.  But it’s better here, in my opinion. Look, everybody is welcome in this country.”

Some in Europe are expressing concerns that the massive influx of mostly Muslim refugees may dramatically change the demographics of their continent, where low birth rates suggest the native population is not due to replace itself in the next generation.

Denise Neuhauser, a 30-year-old Austrian volunteer handing out candy on the station platform, said those are not immediate concerns.

“I really don’t know what the bigger picture is, but right now, take care of the people, give them food, give them drink, give them shelter and let them pass through.”

For most refugees arriving at the station Sunday, the passage was remarkably efficient, with Austrian police and railway workers helping the migrants transfer directly to another platform where they immediately boarded trains for Germany.

Abdulmalik al Khaled and his cousins relaxed in a room next to the platform as they recharged their smart phones.  One of the first calls he planned to make was to his cousin, who is making the same journey and is now waiting in Macedonia before seeing whether it is possible to make the trek through Serbia and then to cross to Hungary.

“I tell him when he arrives here, here is better than any country. I will tell him that.”

Hungarian leaders are expressing concern that the news of easier passage will encourage more migrants to make the journey and have been fortifying the fence along the border where most of the migrants have been entering illegally. Hundreds continued to cross the border from Serbia into Hungary on Sunday.

Austria, meanwhile, said it planned to eventually phase out emergency measures that have made it possible for the migrants to cross the border from Hungary.

"We have always said this is an emergency situation in which we must act quickly and humanely," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said Sunday. "Now we have to move step-by-step away from emergency measures towards normality in conformity with the law and dignity."

Faymann spoke Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who threw her country's doors wide open to the migrants, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose government is building a razor wire fence along the Serbian border to keep the migrants out.

Syrian refugees interviewed in Vienna overwhelmingly expressed a desire to go home, but said that will not be possible as long as the war between the government of Bashir al Assad and rebel groups continues.

Abdulmalik al Khaled puts that responsibility on the United States. He had a message for U.S. President Barack Obama: “If you want to stop this problem, you have to stop the war. You can do that. I know that. You can.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Duried Bawadkji a Syrian-born resident of Hungary who turned out at the Hegyeshalom border crossing between Hungary and Austria on Sunday to volunteer and help direct the migrants. He said the Obama administration’s support for democratic change in Arab countries has gone wrong. In Syria, he said, the so-called Arab Spring has brought tragedy.

“They are the ones responsible of doing this. Because when you encourage people to go in the streets, either you go and help them and finish the story as you have done in too many countries, or don’t do anything like this.  Just leave people alone.  Leave it how it was.”

Number of senators on fence
reduced as Congress returns

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As U.S. lawmakers prepare to return to Washington from a month-long recess, a flurry of senators have announced their positions on the international nuclear accord with Iran. The pact has more than enough support to survive, but still lacks the backing required to prevent Congress from passing an initial resolution of disapproval.
“Frankly, this is not the agreement I hoped for. I have serious concerns based on Iran’s past behavior of cheating on nuclear agreements," said Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a Democrat.
He is not wildly enthusiastic about the Iran nuclear deal. But, like most Democrats, he supports it anyway.
“We cannot trust Iran, but this deal, based on distrust, verification, deterrence, and strong, principled multilateral diplomacy, offers us the best opportunity to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon," he said.
In recent days, five other Democratic senators issued similar statements of support despite misgivings. New Jersey's Cory Booker said “It is better to support a deeply flawed deal, for the alternative is far worse.” Mark Warner of Virginia said, “While I choose to support the deal, I am not satisfied with it.”
Until Friday, only one Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, had announced opposition to the deal. Since then, he has been joined by Sens. Ben Cardin of Maryland and Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
“We  know that, despite the fact that Iran claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, that they have violated the international will as expressed by various U.N. Security Council resolutions, and by deceit, deception and delay advanced their program to the point of being a threshold nuclear state," said Menendez.
Given unified Republican opposition to the accord, all eyes are on the remaining handful of Democratic senators yet to announce. Already, there is ample backing to sustain President Barack Obama’s promised veto of a resolution of disapproval from Congress. The undecided senators will determine whether Senate action can be blocked altogether.

“If that happens, the resolution of disapproval won’t reach the president’s desk, and there will be no need to exercise the veto. That’s a tough goal but a possible one," said former U.S. ambassador Norman Eisen of the Brookings Institution.

An initial vote in the House of Representatives could come by week’s end. 

U.S. celebrates Labor Day
as unemployment is lower

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Americans observe the Labor Day federal holiday today.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that Labor Day is a day "we set aside every year to honor the hardworking men and women who fought for so many of the rights that we take for granted today."

He said the people involved in the labor movement worked "not just for a bigger paycheck for themselves, but for more security and prosperity for the folks working next to them as well." He said, "That's how we built the great American middle class."

Obama said "Over the past five and a half years, our businesses have created 13.1 million new jobs in total, the longest streak of job creation on record."

In a report Friday from the Labor Department, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in seven-and-a-half years in August; 5.1 percent.

That is a drop of two-tenths of a percent from the previous month.

The Labor Department also said the economy had a net gain of 173,000 jobs, which is less than most economists had predicted.

This report is a key part of the data that leaders of the U.S. central bank will consider as they decide how soon and how much to raise the benchmark interest rate. It has been at a record low level since 2008 in a bid to boost economic growth during and following the financial crisis.

White House economic adviser Jason Furman said the economy gained 8 million jobs over the past three years, but warned it could face "headwinds" from the global economy.

Texas hospital not ready
for ebola, expert report says

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

A hospital in the southern U.S. state of Texas was not prepared last year to treat the first person diagnosed with the ebola virus in the United States nor to ensure the safety of the two nurses who contracted the virus while treating the patient, according to a new report.

In their report, a panel of independent experts said it was evident that personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plus federal and state officials, were learning alongside the actual health care providers at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

The hospital’s parent group, Texas Health Resources, released the findings Friday.

Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian émigré, initially sought treatment at the hospital’s emergency room Sept. 25 for a headache, nausea and extremely high temperature. He had arrived several days earlier from his native country, where he’d helped carry a woman infected with the disease.

Duncan was sent home with antibiotics but returned three days later and was hospitalized. He died Oct. 8.

"It is unclear why a patient who had developed a fever of 103 was not reexamined prior to discharge or whether the physician was advised or aware of the elevated temperature," the report said.

The findings revealed that while information about Duncan's travel history to Africa was gathered by a nurse, it was not verbally communicated to a physician because the information had been entered into the electronic health record.

"The health care team apparently relied too heavily on communication through the electronic health record," the panel said.

The CEO of Texas Health Resources, which owns the Dallas hospital and 23 others in north Texas, said he welcomed the panel’s report.

Barclay Berdan said he believes that it "will lead us to better diagnoses of diseases in our emergency rooms, better care for our patients overall, and better coordination with local, state and federal officials in the event another rare event like this unfolds."

The hospital group already is utilizing measures recommended by the panel, it said.

The panel report comes amid a lawsuit from Nina Pham, one of the infected nurses, the Associated Press reports. The suit alleges the hospital group failed to provide training and proper protective gear.

"It does not appear that issues such as personal protective equipment, waste management and other challenges that would emerge as critical were addressed by CDC at the onset of this event," the report said.

The findings said "health care workers had areas of exposed skin that were not fully covered or shielded," exposing them to massive and highly infectious fluids from Duncan.

Nurse Pham and nurse Amber Vinson survived ebola.

Real estate-related services (paid category)

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Real estate brokers and agents (paid category)

Rich Coast Rollover
Thinking of Buying a Vacation or Retirement Home
in Costa Rica?

Rich Coast Realty is a full-service real estate company with property listings in Escazú, Santa Ana, Jacó, Esterillos, Bejuco, Palo Seco, Manuel Antonio, and beyond. We offer efficient, personalized service always protecting our client’s interests. We work hard to find you the property of your dreams, and assist with legal advice, residency, starting corporations, opening bank accounts, etc. With 11 years experience in Costa Rica real estate, we look forward to hearing from you.
USA Toll Free 1 866 833-4005
CR Cell 011 506 8718-9891

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo
Photo montage of penthouse
Are you  tired of wasting time searching your home….. with no results?
If so, you should not miss this deal !!!

Special Offer

Penthouse condominium in Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

* Located on 6th floor.
* Elevator.
* Security 24/7.
* Pool, BBQ area.
* 2 underground
        parking,  cellar.

* 3 bedrooms.
* 2 bathrooms.
* 2 terraces.
* Luxuriously
* Negotiable price.

* Enjoy the view,  CLICK HERE
Mafi Real Estate: Houses, lots and farms in Costa Rica
If you do not find, what are you looking for, contact us
WE HAVE A NETWORK OF OVER 500 brokers across the country to get what you are looking for.
English Calls: Miguel Fiatt Sauma or Paule Ortiz
Phone/Fax.+506 2238-5029
Cel. +506 8399-7000
Web Page:

Remax logo
Re/Max Ocean Surf and Sun:

The experts in buying property in Costa Rica, with more than 20 years experience and the largest networked team of agents in the country.  We can help you learn if investing in Costa Rica is right for you with our low-key, educational approach to sales. Our professional agents can tell you more about Costa Rica properties, including condos, homes, lots and commercial real estate.  Call us: Ocean Surf and Sun Int. Realty Ldta at 011 (506) 2653-0073 or send us an email at:

Real estate for sale (paid category)

property montage
Lovely east coast property for sale
This is a huge property surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens. The house is about 85% built, but I will give you the property completely finished.  The whole land includes 7,886 m2 or 84,884 ft2 of forest and gardens in a mountain area of Cimarrones, Limón, east coast. Full house with large master bedroom plus bathroom. One extra guest bedroom. Large dining room. Large kitchen area. Another extra bathroom for guests. Large laundry room and two cellars (storage areas). The house has wide corridors where you will see a breathtaking view of large gardens and forest.  I am open to hear your offer. The full property and land price is $125,000. Call Harold Fonseca, Phone number (506) 8702-4217, Email:

Goetl in Palo Seco

Charming small oceanfront hotel for sale in Playa Palo Seco
Ideal oceanfront location with back up to a mangrove estuary. The
charming small hotel has a fully equipped kitchen, bar and restaurant and is exceptionnally well maintained. Located on a very private beach of the central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica 35 minutes north of Quepos-Manuel Antonio and 45 minutes south of  Playa Jacó. The main building is a two-storey house with 12 bedrooms. The lot measures 3,054 M2. Beautiful gardens around the large pool and exceptional flora and fauna. Well mentioned in tourist guides like Lonely Planet and Guide Ulysse. Offered at $1,250,000. USD
or call (506) 8707-1037  (506) 2778-8408

Big House for Sale in Playa Grande,
Santa Cruz, Guanacaste
834.62 square meters property with 326 square meters construction. Two-story house with front porch, entry lobby, living room, dinning room, large kitchen, breakfast room, large cupboard, 3 1⁄2 bathrooms, 3 large bedrooms.  The main bedroom includes jacuzzi and balcony. Playground, office, laundry area, garage for two cars, own and municipal potable water supply, electricity service, cable TV system, A/C. Located 700 meters from Las Colinas Golf Course, near the airport, Tamarindo Beach and the best beaches of the country. With an additional 2,866.33 square meters building lot with three terraces. Excellent construction and great details. Great Price $388,000 For more information, please contact us:
Email Phone (506) 2653-6417.
Cell (506) 8825-8942 / (506) 8916-0734.

For sale 5,200 m2 Escazú
Fantastic location for condo, hotel, restaurant.
Large lower lot, incredible views. Flexible zoning.
Easy to get liquor license. Low interest financing.
Toll free US phone 877-778-8515
In Costa Rica 8307-0164

Escazu condo
Builders, Investors Opportunity
Escazú, San José

Unique opportunity, 6 units 80% finished luxury condo project. Best location in Escazú. Condos have amazing views and privacy.  There is option to build 5 more units in the same complex. Project located only 5 minutes away from Multiplaza, CIMA Hospital  and Escazú's best amenities. All permits in place.

Open to partial trades and small financing. Let's negotiate!


John Ordonez Broker / Owner
Cell: (506) 8811-5329 / Office: (506) 25660138
Toll free USA & CANADA 1-877-210-3639 /
SKYPE: jhongoc
More Luxury Listings:

private ranch home
Small private ranch for sale
This exceptional private ranch sits on a 9+ hectare lot and supports 15-20 horses. Only 2 hours south of San José, on the road to Puriscal. Roomy stalls all with drains, water hookup, lights and fans, grooming and shoeing área. Two-story house all furnished and cowboy house. Don't miss your chance on that turnkey operation.  Offered at $749,000.
E-mail:  or call (506) 8707-1037 
(506) 2778-8408 Web:

Ringle resort
on one big lot in Esterillos Oeste, (Central Pacific)
Located on a breezy hill just 4 minutes walk to the beach, surf and tide-pools, only 20 minutes drive north to Jacó nightlife and shopping or south to the rural town of Parrita.

First, a 2-storey, 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1½-bathroom house with big kitchen and living room.  Full-width verandah with eating and sitting areas, overlooking lawn, pool and gazebo. Sitting balcony at upper, bedroom level.  Carport. and laundry. 

Second, a completely private single-storey. 2-bedroom (sleeps 4), 1-bathroom home with big back yard at a lower level on the same, big fully titled 1,100M2 lot.. Full security bars at all doors and windows, plus locking vehicle access and pedestrian gates at the street. In a very safe neighborhood, with private and natural surroundings

Well maintained, fully and tastefully furnished and equipped, hot water, local phone, cable TV/DVD and high speed wireless internet   The houses have been rented for both long-term and vacation for $100/$80 per day and $1,500/$1,200 per month respectively. See this place, you will love it! Then make an offer. E-mail or call (506) 8386-8825.  Rodney, asking $350,000.

San Ramon
Mountain home w/million dollar view near San Ramón
Beautiful home in the mountains near San Ramón with 180-degree view of the gulf of Nicoya. 7 miles from San Ramón, 1 mile from Interamericana highway. 3,200 foot elevation so temp is 65 to 75 year around. Electric gate, private drive. house built in 2010. 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, appliances included. High-speed internet installed, Price for sale $179,000    Contact Mike:   Check out slide show HERE!

A beautiful American style suburban home just reduced.

A beautiful American style suburban home, 2,700 sq ft of living space with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, front and rear living rooms, laundry area, kitchen and small attached library nook, arched windows and doors and connected hallways, exotic wood interior ceilings and trim, tile floors thru-out.  The lot is 835 m2 with mature landscape and orchid nurseries surrounding the house. There is an enclosed workshop and BBQ area in the back yard with lots of storage under roof, plus a nursery for an herb/vegetable garden.  This is a very well-kept property with many upgrades, a private feel but yet only 5 minutes from the center of town.  Pérez Zeledón is the commercial hub of the southern zone and considered to be one of the best places to live in all of Costa Rica, the perfect size town, not too big and not too small.  The beach is 45 minutes to the west and a short drive to the cool mountains is to the east. In between, this large valley has a moderate climate.  Pérez has plenty of modern goods and services, an excellent farmers market, private schools, private doctors and clinics, all you need without having to go to the crazy madness of San José.    Just reduced to $239,000.  Call  Jeff: 8824-8113 or 8725-8176.  Email:

Aerial Ocean and Volcano Views with Boutique Coffee! 33 Acres $495,000. Click HERE!

For sale: Titled beachfront lot 1/2 acre (1,750m2) near Jacó $89,000. Just one hour drive from San José.
Panoramic ocean view lot 1.25 acres (5,000m2) 25 minutes from Tamarindo  $25,000.
Panoramic ocean view lot  5,400 sq. ft. (500m2)  $6,500. Financing available.
For rent two-bedroom house  five minute walk to water $350 a month.
Call 6261-7932 Or email See this Web site:

ARenal property
Location: Near Arenal        Price: $2.7 million
Size: 113 acres
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The farm is at the highest point on a stunning ridge bordered by pristine Costa Rican primary forest on all sides of the property, with active wildlife all throughout the area. On each of its gently rolling terraced lomas you get a glimpse of Volcán Arenal from a distance. This property has four different lagunas, a working organic farm and nursery, mature fruit trees, sheep corral, ideal for grazing horses with stunning views from all the hillsides. The Northern Zone of Costa Rica is the country's best kept secret, providing a perfect home base location to travel the country's many destinations while still maintaining the best climate at 400 meters above sea level.

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A.M. Costa Rica's
sixth news page

San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, Vol. 16, No. 176
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News from the BBC up to the minute

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Latin news from the BBC up to the minute
Speedy bamboo shoots for the sky

So, you planted some nice clumping bamboo and watched it race skyward. It is funny stuff, bamboo, but after all, it is a grass, no matter
Victoria torley
 how tree-like in size it becomes.

Watch your new bamboo shoots. They will be just like the mature stem in diameter. Unlike a tree with its growth rings, bamboo comes out of the ground with its one and only diameter and can reach adult height in one growing season. The new stem – which looks a bit like
an asparagus – grows to nearly full height before putting out any branches. All of the power for this push upward comes from the roots and is supported by the branches of mature plants. That power is massive. One species of bamboo has been clocked with a growth rate of a milimeter every two minutes. That's 3 centimeters or over 1.25  inches every hour.

With its height completed in about 4 months the wall of the stalk or clum hardens over the next two seasons and the bamboo is ready to harvest in its third year.  After it reaches maturity, bamboo begins to accumulate a fungus and decays over the next few years. A life cycle of individual stalks is five to seven years. For use in construction or decoration, bamboo is usually harvested in that third year.

And what are you going to do with all that bamboo? First, you will cut and dry it over several months. In Georgia's drier climate, my bamboo was subject to splitting as it dried/ this has not been a problem in our more humid climate although the bamboo needs to dry a bit longer.

Then there is the cutting, traditionally done with a special saw that is used to cut only in one direction to reduce splintering. Then comes the peeling of the outer layer. I use a heavy knife and long strokes. Sanding follows. Without peeling and sanding, nothing you put on the bamboo will stick, not paint, not varnish. Paint, in particular, will look dull. Varnish will just peal off. Of course, if you are going to use your bamboo for construction and then discard it, you only need to cut and dry it first.

Now, I am not a bamboo expert and I make no claim that this is all you need to know about bamboo. Far from it. There are nice thick books on growing and working bamboo. Find one at a bookstore or download one on your Kindle and go play with your bamboo. Why? Because it's fun! And isn't that what gardening is all about?

Plant for the Week

 I said that bamboo is easy to start and here is proof by way of a not-all-that-great picture.

The green shoots are from a section of bamboo that we planted four weeks ago by laying it in a shallow trench and covering it with dirt. You can see the original bamboo pole at the bottom of the picture.

Started this way, the first shoots will not be as large as the final bamboo as there are no mature plants to give them that push. That will come later. Just be patient. 

A.M. Costa Rica/Victoria Torley

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From Page 7:

G-20 ministers urge resisting protectionism

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of 20 leading economies say global growth is slower than they had expected, but they are confident that worldwide economic recovery will gain momentum.

In the final communique of a two-day summit in the Turkish capital, Ankara, top finance officials from the G-20 nations promised Saturday to take decisive action to keep economic recovery upbeat. They also pledged to refrain from competitive currency devaluations, a reference to China's recent devaluation and a warning to emerging-market nations not to take similar action to protect their own currencies.

Financial markets worldwide have been in turmoil for weeks due to concern about a slowdown in China's economy and its sudden devaluation of the yuan last month.

Since currency devaluations effectively lower the price of a country's exports, there are concerns that China's devaluation may prompt other nations to take similar action. Beijing's monetary action already has driven down the value of many smaller countries' currencies. The G-20 vowed to resist all forms of protectionism.

U.S. officials said the American delegation in Ankara, led by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, met with its Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the summit. The U.S. side said it was important for China to make clear that it will allow the yuan to move up as well as down in response to financial markets.

A senior U.S. Treasury official told reporters, "It would be a very bad thing for the global economy if we get into a pattern of competitive devaluation." During detailed discussions, the official said, all agreed that competitive devaluation is a threat that has to be guarded against.

Another major theme at the G-20 meetings was the monetary policy of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which has been expected for months to lift interest rates to match the quickening pace of U.S. economic growth.

Financial officials in many other countries are concerned that higher U.S. interest rates will persuade foreign investors to shift their capital into dollar-based funds and reduce financial liquidity, the supply of money available to fuel business growth.

In line with the improving world economic outlook, the G-20 said a tightening of monetary policy through interest rate hikes is more likely in some advanced economies. However, the group urged central banks and governments not to rely heavily on interest rates alone, but also to practice fiscal policies that support growth and create jobs.

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, told reporters Saturday that the U.S. Federal Reserve in particular should increase interest rates only when it is certain that all growth indicators dictate such a move.